Review of Oruchuban Ebichu (1999)

Moving picture, 100 minutes

Anno Hideaki (planning).

A female hamster does most of the housekeeping chores for her master, a 25-year-old single woman in Tokyo. The hamster, who has lots of childish speech impediments and adorable mannerisms, tries to protect her master from the wiles of a good-for-nothing boyfriend.

TV animation series. A brutal assault on the cult of cute. Directed by Moriwaki Makoto. Reasonably tame on the explicit level but what South Park (1997) does with children, Oruchuban Ebichu does with the super-cute animal characters of some Japanese animation. Gross and ultraviolent, centered on sex and embarrassment, this series was heavily censored on Japanese television. By day, dirty jokes, terrible perversions and tragic stupidity abound. By night, Ebichu transforms into the haiku-dropping superhero sex counsellor Ebichuman!

It’s based on a 1991 comic, substantially older than Hamtaro, which was adapted for TV in 2000. “Orusuban”, the word for taking care of someone’s house in their absence, has been intentionally misspelled in the title to match the central character’s speech impediment. The name “Ebichu” itself is a parallel corruption of “(Y)ebisu”, a beer and god, among other things.

References here: Rilakkuma to Kaorusan (2019).

moving picture Gainax Japanese production animation fiction series